CREDAI and Builders’ Rift over Code of Conduct

Firstly, several developers declined to abide by the code of conduct laid down by CREDAI. Following this, the association has expelled several developers, while some have resigned discontinuing their involvement with the organisation.

Opposing the self-regulation code, the builders refused to sign the association’s code of conduct. The bone of contention for builders was the code of conduct that primarily outlines transparency clauses that builders have to follow.

Ultimately, CREDAI expelled some builders, as they did not comply with the directives despite the body having issued several notices to them. DLF, Hirco and Hiranandani Realtors have been expelled from the Chennai Unit, whereas four builders have resigned from the Bangalore unit.

CREDAI has further decided to expel non-compliant builders in NCR and informed the expelled builders that they can be a part of CREDAI unit only if they sign the code of conduct.

 

Bangalore: Girish Karnad Reflects

Few decades ago, people came to Bangalore essentially for the horse races. Once the racing season was over, the city emptied out. Bangalore had little else to offer.

Today the racecourse has been moved out of the city—a former chief minister’s dream of erecting a 100-story commercial tower à la Singapore in the course’s place was foiled by public outcry—and Bangalore throbs through the year with no concern for the seasons. Its roads are chock block with traffic, and its hotels crammed.

Bangalore started its life as a cantonment built by the British to keep a watchful eye on the nearby princely city of Mysore. It was European in its orientation, with wide roads, bungalows with pillared porticoes, and spired churches where everyone spoke English. And nearby was its “native twin,” Bengaluru, congested and cowed, where the lingua franca was the South Indian language of Kannada.

In 1956 the administrative map of India was redrawn on a linguistic basis with each of its nearly 20 languages defining a separate state. And Bangalore found itself the capital of a new Kannada state, at the mercy of political and economic forces it was unprepared for. The first to pour in were bureaucrats who needed offices, houses, and roads to run the new state, their numbers swelled by the philosophy of a socialist economy that led to the setting-up of government-sponsored enterprises, like the telephone and the aeronautical industries. Ancillary enterprises followed, leading to an influx of migrant workers.

South Indian Real Estate Sector footprint

What a South Mumbai is to Mumbai or a South Delhi is to Delhi could well be South Indian cities to India! The question is – will the southern region become the downtown of India?

Southern India has for long been the silent crusader, building and strengthening its real estate development as one of the most sought after destinations in the country. With improving transparency and visibility of the real estate markets in the South zone, cities such as Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad have attained a place on the global real estate map, a status that was limited just to Mumbai and Delhi in the past.

While South Indian cities constitute nearly 45% of the country’s office space, the stock of 140 million sq ft in these cities is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8% for the period 2012 – 2016, lower than the projected national growth of 11%. This implies that the southern cities, particularly Bangalore and Hyderabad, are relatively rationalised in terms of medium term supply of office space, and the cities have chosen a strategy of pursuing selective quality developments over rapid expansion. While this would keep their share in India’s office stock range bound at 37%-40%, the South Zone’s vacancy rate by end-2012 is expected to be 16%, considerably lower than the pan-India vacancy rate of over 20%.

While demand remains healthy for organised retail spaces, it is polarised towards either successful malls or high streets, which have better footfalls and conversion ratio. As the mall stock in the southern cities sum up to breach the 40 million sq ft mark by end-2016, the vacancy by then is expected to witness a notable decline from the peak levels of 2014 to drop below the national average of 20.5%.

South India’s residential market has been an ardent follower of the ‘affordability’ mantra, with more than 80% of the new launches in the past two years being priced under INR 4,000 per sq ft (USD1 812 per sqm). As a result, the residential markets of South Indian cities have remained resilient in the past few quarters, relative to the significant decline recorded in the sales volume of Mumbai and NCR-Delhi.

The focus of Indian real estate is shifting from Tier I to Tier II cities, and the southern region is also embracing the same, with secondary hubs developing in Kochi, Coimbatore, Vishakhapatnam and Mysore, that are persistently striving for higher milestones.

 

Anand Rathi and Knight Frank Eye the Second Realty Fund

Anand Rathi Financial Services and property consultancy Knight Frank India are planning to launch their second real estate fund by end of this months and looking to raise around Rs 500 crore (~$100 million), sources close to the development told VCCircle. Unlike its peers who are hitting foreign shores to raise new funds, the joint fund rental yield and appreciation portfolio (RYAP) fund will be raised from the domestic market.  Like its predecessor, it will invest in commercial assets in tier I cities which include Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, National Capital Region (NCR) and Chennai.

The fund would be targeting returns of 10-12 per cent from its investments and expects to stay invested in an asset for four-five years. A senior executive of the joint venture fund house who did not wish to be identified, said, “We are waiting for final Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) guidelines as right now there is no clarity on registration of funds and other norms. Once we have clarity on the same which we are expecting by mid-May we will register and start our fund raising process.”

In April 2, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had unveiled its final norms to regulate AIF’s in the country. Fund managers expect the detailed guidelines to be issued in the next two weeks.

Knight Frank India and Anand Rathi Financial Services had joined hands two years ago to raise Rs 225 crore rental yield fund. It has invested Rs 135 crore from the existing fund in two projects including Hub town Ltd’s commercial project in Mumbai and Cerebrum IT park development by Pune-based Kumar Urban Development Ltd.

Realty projects, roads focus to help build-up for Unity Infraprojects

Healthy order book, strong balance sheet and the potential to unlock value from real estate projects make Unity Infraprojects a decent investment idea on a medium-term basis. Mumbai-based Unity Infraprojects is a small-sized construction firm operating in buildings, water and roads segments. The company is also developing real estate on its land parcels in Nagpur, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata and Goa. The total saleable area from these projects is nearly nine million square feet.

Unity Infraprojects stands to gain by unlocking the value in its real estate projects. It was not able to monetise any of its real estate projects due to delays in execution by over a year. However, it is now in an advanced stage of securing approvals for launching its Bangalore residential project. Unity has a total saleable area of nearly 3 million square feet in this project, which it intends to launch in another three months.

After this it will focus on monetising its real estate in other cities. The current order book of the company in its construction business stands at Rs 4,700 crore, which are 2.75 times its FY11 revenues. These orders are to be executed over the next three years. The company has been increasing its exposure to the roads segment in the last few years. Although the roads segment is highly competitive, Unity’s backward integration in terms of owns machinery has allowed the company to garner better operating margins than its peers.

In the nine months ending December 2011, the company has maintained an operating margin of 15.5%. Another factor that augurs well for the company is its strong balance sheet. As of September 2011, the company had a debt-equity ratio of 1.1, which is one of the best among its peers. Unity Infraprojects’ stock is trading at a P/E of 3.9 while similar-sized rivals like Pratibha Industries and Supreme Infrastructure India are trading at a P/E of 5.9 and 5.2, respectively. Considering its growth potential and the relative discount to its peers, the stock looks attractive at this level.


Bangalore is just about office… office.

While demand for residential space was mostly sluggish in 2011, demand for office and retail space remained healthy in Bangalore.

The market for commercial space is estimated at 50 mil sq. ft. across the country. The average yearly absorption rates in Bangalore and NCR are about nine mil sq. ft. While six mil sq. ft. is absorbed in Mumbai, the rates are 4 to 5 mil sq. ft. each in Chennai and Hyderabad.

However, last year, Bangalore topped the list with the highest absorption of more than 13 mil sq. ft. of non-captive office space, about 2 mil sq. ft. more than the levels seen in 2010. About 80% of this came from the IT & ITES sector.

“Consolidation of real estate portfolios by Indian and MNC IT companies has boosted the real estate market in Bangalore,” said Karun Varma, MD (Bangalore and Kochi), and Jones Lang LaSalle India. “Demand for back offices and contact centres has resulted in continued strong growth in suburban real estate development, with IT companies lining up their investments for setting up new facilities in the city,” he added.

Experts predict demand for 16 mil sq. ft. of office space in 2012 in India’s Silicon Valley, which will be the highest ever in the country. This will be mostly due to the new SEZ norms and direct tax code (DTC) that will come into play.

About 75% of the 16 mil sq. ft. office space will be in upcoming SEZ regions. Recently, global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs took up 1 mil sq. ft. of office space developed by Kalyani Developers on the outer ring road. “Companies see an opportunity from a tax break perspective; so, many are planning to migrate their future work to SEZ parks,” said Shrinivas Rao, CEO (Asia Pacific), Vestian Global Workplace Services.

In the next three years, an additional 28.8 mil sq. ft. of office space will be available in the region, for which projects are already under way. “We are expecting to see about 6 to 7 mil sq. ft. of this to come up in 2012,” said Rao.

Mirah to Grow Realty Business, Double Presence in Food and Beverages

Mirah Group, a diversified business group with interests in food and beverage (F&B), hospitality, travel and international trading, is scaling up its real estate business and consolidating it under a single entity, said a top executive. The group, which runs popular restaurant chains and food stores including Rajdhani, Mad over Donuts and Manchester United Cafe and Bar, has completed around 10 real estate projects in the past decade. But it is only now that the group is organizing and branding the business under a new entity, Edifice Properties.

“We are looking to develop large mixed-development townships in Mumbai and Pune,” said Gaurav Goenka, managing director, Mirah Group. The first project is a 300-acre township in Nagpur, which has received funding in the form of foreign direct investment from a subsidiary of Bank of Scotland. The second will be a township in Pune, and the third, of 200-300 acres in Thane, is in the land acquisition stage.

In the F&B space, Mirah Group, known for expanding through acquisitions, is in talks to buy stakes in both domestic and international brands. “International brands are coming in by the dozen and we will look at picking up stakes in brands that are scalable and have a USP (unique selling proposition),” said Goenka.

The firm intends to invest around Rs.200 crore in this space in two-three years. It will expand Rajdhani, its flagship brand, from 35 outlets to 50 in a year and Mad Over Donuts to 100 from the current 35. Cafe Mangii, which is present only in Mumbai, will travel to Bangalore and Delhi and expand from five to 15 restaurants.

Mirah also runs a chain of hotels under the brand name, Citrus. From the current lot of seven hotels, it plans to open another seven that it will itself build, own and operate. Besides running its own F&B outlets, last year, Mirah Hospitality, a part of Mirah Group, invested Rs.40 crore and acquired a 26% stake in Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, which runs cafes and fine dining restaurants such as Mocha and Smoke House Deli.

Saloni Nangia, senior vice-president at retail consultancy Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd, said that with the fast pace of growth in the number of people across socio-economic strata eating out and ordering in, the F&B space in India will only grow from where it is today. “While a lot of modern retail will move online, F&B, still being an experience-related business, will continue to grow,” she said.

Retail consultants said the F&B sector will continue to draw the attention of investors such as private equity and venture capital funds. Jacob Kurian, a partner at Asia-focused private equity fund New Silk Route, said the fund is exploring opportunities in the sector. New Silk Route is in talks to buy a stake in Adiga’s, a south Indian restaurant chain.

 

Two Indian Real Estate Deals in Asian Top Ten list.

Two real estate deals in India — the sale of Leela Kempinski Kovalam and Noida’s deal with Wave Mega City Centre – have been ranked among the top ten in their categories across Asia according to a recently published study by Real Capital. Both deals took place in August 2011.

Real Capital tracks and analyses real estate deals worth over $10 million across apartments, hotels, retail, industrial, office and development projects over the world. The Purchase of Leela Kovalam by Saudi Arabia-based industrialist Ravi Pillai, which was pegged at about Rs 500 crore ranked 10th in Asia-list of largest hotel sellers.

Bangalore and Mumbai have been named among the most active Asian markets in the office space.

Delhi was ranked sixth and Mumbai eighth in the most active Asian apartment markets. Tokyo tops the list followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Osaka and Beijing. While Chennai comes in at eighth position among active hotel markets, India did not rank in the big league when it comes to retail deals.

“India is a top focus for Realty Moghul” says Trump Scion.

Trump’s eponymous real estate group expects to sign multiple deals for Indian residential projects and hotel contracts over the next five years, despite a market riddled by regulatory uncertainty and bureaucratic red tape.

“India, among other emerging markets, is the biggest push for our organisation,” Donald Trump Jr, an executive vice president of The Trump Organization, said on Wednesday.

Trump, whose portfolio includes projects in South Korea and Turkey, in addition to hotels and skyscrapers in the United States, is close to signing a couple of deals with Indian developers, the younger Trump said without providing details.

“Equity investment will depend on individual projects and partnerships but first we would like to form relationships which allow us to understand the processes and spectrum better,” the 34-year-old said on the side-lines of a hotel conference.

The developer entered India last year with a joint venture partnership with Rohan Lifescapes to build a 45-storey luxury residential tower in Mumbai.

However, work on the tower, which will bear the Trump name but involves no equity from the U.S. developer, has been halted for about nine months since authorities said it lacked the necessary permits, a common problem in an industry wrapped in red tape.

Indian developers are often hit by changing regulations. In Mumbai, for example, the scrapping of a rule granting extra floor space in exchange for providing public parking facilities has meant many projects must reapply for clearances.

But Trump, whose father is worth an estimated $2.9 billion, according to Forbes, says the lure of an emerging India outweighs the regulatory headaches.

“The Indian market is starved for a good luxury product and it needs a brand like ours,” he said.

“I like the regulatory changes I am seeing. It may slow things down a bit but will create a level playing field and will help in eliminating the unknown for an outside investor coming in,” he said.

The company plans to focus expansion in the country on luxury residences and hotels, and would look at cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and the state of Goa.

Some local players such as privately held Lodha Developers and Godrej Properties are emerging as strong brands in India’s luxury housing space, but the market remains fragmented.

And despite a slew of interest rate hikes that have cooled India’s overall property market and hit luxury developers particularly hard, Trump is bullish.

 

Leela Kovalam, Noida, one of the top high-value sellers in Asia.

The sale of Leela Kempinski Kovalam was among the top 10 hotel deals in Asia during the past one year, shows data from the US-based research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Real Capital, which tracks and analyses real estate deals worth over $10 million across apartments, hotels, retail, industrial, office and development projects over the world, has also named Noida as a top site for sales in the development site category for a deal with the Wave Group for a mega mixed-use project. Mumbai and Bangalore also figure among the active office markets in Asia. In apartments, Delhi and Mumbai are part of the top league in the year ended March 31, 2012.

The Leela Kovalam deal, pegged at about Rs 500 crore, was the 10th in the Asia-list of largest hotel sellers during the one-year period. The Kovalam beach property was sold to Saudi Arabia-based industrialist Ravi Pillai last August.

The other big hotel players in Asia which sold properties at high value include Japan Hotel, LaSalle, Kingdom Holding, Hines and Shui On Group.

Even as Indian entities don’t figure anywhere in the top 10 global list vis-à-vis high value real estate deals in the financial year that just gone by, many of them have made it to the Asian hall of fame.

Noida, the industrial development area next to Delhi, is fifth in the development site sellers’ list in Asia. This was for a deal with industrialist Ponty Chadha-promoted Wave Group for the mixed-use project, Wave Mega City Centre, at an estimated price of $1.4 billion (about Rs 7,140 crore at the current forex rate), according to Doug Murphy, director (analytics) at Real Capital.

In the office space, Bangalore and Mumbai have been named among the most active Asian markets. “There were a number of locations for office sales in Bangalore and Mumbai, the largest being the Embassy Manyata Business Park transaction in Bangalore for about $537 million (Rs 2,738 crore) and Citibank building in Mumbai for about $224 million (Rs 1,142 crore),” Murphy said. Both transactions took place in August 2011.

Delhi and Mumbai are part of the most active Asian apartment markets. While Delhi is ranked sixth, Mumbai is eighth. Tokyo tops the list in high value apartment deals, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Osaka, Beijing, Delhi, Fukuoka, Mumbai, Nagoya and Kuala Lumpur.

India is nowhere in the retail top league where deals in Asia are concerned. Among hotels, Chennai is seen as an active market in the eighth position. Singapore leads as the most active hotel market in Asia, followed by Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Osaka, Chennai, Kuala Lumpur and Suzhou.

Brigade Group opens Orion mall in Bangalore.

Real estate developer Brigade Group has opened its flagship retail venture Orion mall in Brigade Gateway Enclave, Bangalore. Spread over 8.2 lakh sq. ft., the mall houses a mix of global and national brands.

Orion mall is developed and managed by Brigade Group and located in the Brigade Gateway Enclave that also includes the World Trade Centre, Sheraton Bangalore hotel, 1,200+ residences, Columbia Asia Hospital, The Brigade School, and Galaxy Club. The mall overlooks a two-acre manmade lake and has open-air children’s play area and amphitheatre.

Foley Designs and DSP Design are the interior designers, while HOK from New York has developed the main design of the mall. The mall has LED lighting solutions, automatic sensor controlled car parking, over 225 closed-circuit security cameras apart from 42 lifts and escalators.

Speaking on the occasion, Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group, said: “Orion mall will undoubtedly be the most sought-after destination amongst discerning shoppers and for brands of repute as well. With the launch of Orion, it truly transforms the Brigade Gateway Enclave into an exclusive integrated lifestyle enclave and marks the Brigade Group’s foray into the highly competitive retail segment.”

The mall has three entrances from Dr. Raj Kumar Road – Rajajinagar, Yeshwantpur (next to Metro Cash & Carry), and Railway Parallel Road – Malleswaram.
Orion has a hypermarket (Star Bazaar). Its food court (Sauce Pan) spreads over 55,000 sq. ft. Housing brands like Mc Donald’s, Subway, Sbarro, Rajdhani, Kailash Parbat, Empire, Empire Fresh Fruit Juice Centre, Indian Tadka, Mad about China, Mad over Donuts, Tiger bay, and Up south. The mall also houses a Reliance Digital store for electronics need.
For entertainment, Orion will house the largest PVR multiplex of the country – with 11 screens and over 2,800 seats. BluO, a 27-lane bowling centre will also open its first centre in the city. The lounge will offer entertainment options like Karaoke bar. The mall will also house Time Zone, an 8,000 sq. ft. gaming centre.

Brigade Group has completed over 100 projects, developing over 20 million sq. ft. of area since 1986.

Real Estate Sector in Bangalore may see 25 per cent growth.

The real estate sector in Bangalore has grown to a large extent in the past one year. In the year ahead, the city’s realty is expected to grow by 25 per cent, estimates the Karnataka Chapter of the Consortium of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI).

“We are expecting the realty to grow by 25 per cent in the coming year. Last year too we have witnessed a similar growth,” said Sushil Mantri, president, CREDAI Karnataka.

As per studies conducted last year, the city is likely to absorb about 7.1 million sq. ft. of office space against a supply of 7 million sq. ft. While demand for office and commercial sales in the city saw a rise, residential sales remained slow.

Experts said that the city witnessed a great strength in high street leasing and rent, and capital value has increased nominally in a few sub-markets. Also, there was a rise in rental value as demand by retailers remained strong.

With commercial office space developers offering favourable options, predictions for 2012 are that several IT companies in the city will look at pre-leasing office space.

However, analysts opine that office space supply will outweigh demand.

“FDI in multibrand real estate is expected to catalyse a lot of demand from international retailers. International luxury brands will restrict their growth plans to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore,” states a projected report by Jones Lang LaSalle India, Realty Intelligence firm.

The report states that the mid-end and affordable housing segments will record healthy appreciation in capital value in short term from a low base.

 

Home Loan Rate Should Be Restructured.

With speculations about the Union Budget 2012-13 already doing the rounds, city’s real estate industry too has voiced its expectations. Mainly revolving around increased subsidy on interest rate for loans towards affordable housing and industry status for taxation and construction and relaxation of FDI up to 51 per cent into multi-branding, the industry is hopeful of a favourable budget.

Sushil Mantri, president of CREDAI, Bangalore, says that “The Indian real estate industry was riding through highs and lows in 2011. Last year, one per cent interest rate subsidy was offered for loans towards affordable housing. If the subsidy can be broadened, home buyers especially in mid and lower income groups will benefit.”

“Indian real estate, especially housing needs the government’s support for further growth. The government should consider restructuring interest rates on home loans to attract larger base of lower and middle income group to benefit. For loan amounts lesser than Rs 25 lakh, the interest rate should be lower and should scale up as the loan amount goes higher,” said Sankey Prasad, chairman and MD of Synergy Property Developments Services.

Further the Experts demanded that the glaring concerns of the real estate industry be addressed.

“The real estate industry will be looking forward to RBI’s intervention to control inflation which has adversely affected the industry. If FDI is relaxed up to 51 per cent in multi-branding, this will boost the growth path for the Indian retail industry,” Sushil Mantri added.

Singapore Based Company to Invest in India

The CEO and country head of CapitaMalls Asia, Singapore-based develops, owns and manages malls across Asia, will invest INR 1,800 cr in India. He also said, “apart from funding the two malls that are operational now, this money would be also used to develop 07 another  malls in India.” The company has put-on 02 joint ventures in India, with Bangalore-based Prestige Estate Projects Ltd for projects in the South and with Advanced India Projects Ltd  for projects in the North.

The ventures now own the Forum Value Mall in Bangalore which was opened in 2009 and The Celebration Mall in Udaipur, early this year. The other committed projects in India are under different stages of development in Bangalore, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Mysore, Kochi, Jalandhar and Nagpur. These malls are scheduled to be operational between end-2012 and mid-2013.

Acron Infra Projects Constructing Residential Complex at Pune

Acron Infra Project, Mumbai-based developing company is building a large residential multiplex at Karvenagar which is in the heart of Pune, a 3-hrs drive from the metropolis of Mumbai. They are building a big, affordable residential complex with a total of 2,800 apts spread over a 24-acres green campus. The Director of Acron Group said the fund for the INR 800-cr project will be raised through internal accruals of the company and bookings.

This residential multplex will be developed in six phases.During the first phase, a total of four 25-storey buildings will be built within 18 months which includes 800 apartments. The two-bedroom apartments with an area of 900 sq ft at the rate of Rs 6,000-7,000 per sq ft will cost about INR 40 lac- Rs 50 lac. The registration and stamp duty will be an additional cost to the buyer. This project will develop eco-friendly apartments targeted at upper middle class home buyers looking for comfortable and affordable housing in the heart of the city and the housing complex will offer all the modern conveniences and amenities such as a clubhouse, swimming pool, jogging park, children’s park and a green surrounding environment.

With two decades of experience in construction, Acron Group brings to the table a wealth of experience, modern techniques, state of the art building materials and institutional knowledge, engineering, management, talent and skill, especially in the area of green building development. Acron group with branches in Bangalore and Goa is an EPC company engaged in real estate development, infrastructure and hotels.

The project has already begun and the apartments will be ready for possession on schedule. “We want our clients to appreciate that housing development happens at Acron Infra in tandem with nature,” Meghnani said.

Brokers Hunt for Jobs as Slump Hits Realty Sales

NEW DELHI | BANGALORE: Broker in Bangalore bylane has just opened a stationery shop. He has named it ‘Smart Shop’, borrowing the name from the realty brokerage firm that he ran from the same premises until about two months ago. He switched to retail after his property business hit a rough patch following a slump in home sales. About 03-quarters of his revenues came from sale of apartments, the remaining from renting.

“With home sales dropping, it doesn’t make business sense anymore,” he says. It’s the same story in other big cities. In Mumbai, a mid-size broker has set up a small fast food joint to make ends meet. In Nagpur, a real estater has quit the real estate business and set up an ice-cream parlour. Their worries are not unfounded. While the large and established players in the property business have managed to stay, even during the slump, thousands of smaller players like brokers and agents are being forced to look for other jobs.

It also hit lakhs of people employed with such small outfits – each of which hires 5-15 people.With many brokers closing shops or reducing size, these people are out in the market, looking for jobs in sectors such as retail, banking, insurance and call centres. The real estate industry employs about 10 lakh people across the country, the majority in the unorganised sector.

In the first quarter of 2011, home sales dropped 17 per cent in Mumbai, 14 percent in Bangalore and 15 percent in Hyderabad. According to consultant Jones Lang La-Salle, unsold residential units in projects that are complete or are nearing completion in 6-12 months in Mumbai and Delhi-NCR are as high as 25 percent and 16 percent, respectively. In other big cities, including Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, the numbers range between 12 percent and 19 percent. Sales in tier-II and tier-III cities are steady, though there is some panic due to the increase in interest rates, which have climbed to about 11 percent from 8.25 percent a year ago.

“For smaller brokers, the impact of the current market factors is a lot more compared to the larger brokers,” says the president of the National Association of Realtors India . “Even for our members – who are fairly well-off – business is down 40 percent compared to 2009-10. But the smaller guys are in trouble and are setting up businesses that move on a daily basis. Many I know have asked their employees to look out” Ravindra Bramhe, chairman of the Maharashtra Property Brokers’ Association, says.

For whatever business is left in the market, there are hundreds of agents in queue. For instance, there are pockets on the Noida Expressway, near large projects, where real estate brokers can be seen sitting inside small tents, under the sweltering sun, waiting for business. Those who can’t afford to set up these tents can be seen on the roadside, running after every car that passes by, with brochures and flyers of projects in hand. Industry refers to them as the broker mandi. “All my friends and colleagues are now looking outside real estate before things get worse,” says Chaudhary. Many have returned to the insurance industry and others have found jobs with small call centres. A few have found employment with retail stores.

LIC Housing to Concentrate on Senior Citizen Homes Business

LIC Housing Finance focuses to have a all India-presence for its senior citizens homes business as the rise in demand from senior citizens provokes the company to scale-up presence in other cities across the country. The 4th largest mortgage lender has finished two projects, one in Bangalore and the other in Bhubaneswar, They believe this “futuristic idea” will lead to the home finance company eventually spinning off its care home business into a listed body as early as 2014.

“We expect to make the care homes business a fully listed body in coming three to five years,” CEO of LIC Housing finance said. LIC H.F., promoted by the country’s largest insurer, the LIC of India, is looking for an existence in up to 07 cities, which it says are more “friendly to the senior citizens” and also can get land at discounted rates. The company lately finished a 98-unit project and a bigger 200-unit project in Bangalore and Bhubaneswar respectivly.

Presently the organisation is in the process of acquiring land in Jaipur, Haridwar and Goa. “More cities such as Nagpur and Pune which have historically been friendly to the retired people will be looked at.” India has 65 % of its people aged between 15 and 64 years, so the business model might find many takers. Retirement homes are built in a community format with modern amenities including gymnasium & club houses, music rooms and auditoriums. These projects also come with a house-help which is offered by the developers or owners themselves.

ZED – BCIL’s Two Residential Projects in Bangalore

BCIL is launching two residential projects — Zed Woods and Zed Earth — on the Yelahanka-Doddaballapur Road in Bangalore, which promise a pleasent blend of green living and urban comforts. The organisation is investing Rs 108 crore in total, out of which Rs 90 crore for Zed Earth and Rs 18 crore for Zed Woods. The Zed Earth villas come with a price range of Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 4 crore, while Zed Woods the price range is Rs 25 lakh to Rs 80 lakh.

Zed Earth spreads over an area of 18.7 acres, while Zed Woods comes over 1.5 acres. Zed Earth will have over 130 houses. The campus is carved into two large home phases. The first phase offers 44 individual, single-family houses spread over 6.7 acres. The second phase will offer at least 80 homes over 12 acres. ZED Woods will have 60 houses in its 1.5 acres against the industry norm of 65-90 homes an acre.

The speciality about the two projects is “Zed Earth home sizes offer much lower density of 0.9 in the ratio of built area to land area compared with a much higher density of 1.2 which is the norm in Bangalore. It has drawn from the vast traditional knowledge systems of Indian architecture and ‘vaastu’, and have mingled them with modern engineering expertise and architectural needs of today’s world.” These villas are muted. They offer a combination of rich wood floors, fine natural stone and earth-toned walls on the outside, sloped roofs add grace to the exteriors. Superb spaces with high ceilings, gabled roofs, terraces and backyards promise pleasant barbecue evenings. Split-levels highlighted spaces. Private quite places give personal comfort alongwith solar-powered fountains. Rich and greeny verdure offer micro climate. Every home has its own air-conditioning system that costs you under Rs 1,000 a month on a pay-only-on-use basis. Each home has a wet waste treatment system that converts all kitchen waste into odourless compost for your gardens. Zed Earth homes come in three-bedroom ranging 2,740 sq ft and 2,929 sq ft and four-bedroom ranging 4,056 sq ft options.

Zed Woods, in turn, will offer rich apartments ranging from 811 sq ft super built-up area for a studio apartment to 2,700 sq ft superior built-up area for exclusive four-bedroom apartments with lots of green features.  Zed Woods are luxury apartments with great amenities. These apartments have lush green UAS forest on one side and is on the last floor. The view is very beautiful from the apartment.

 

Keerthi Estates Brings Up Luxury Villas in Hyderabad

Hyderabad-based real estate developer Keerthi Estates, with huge experience and long term operations in Hyderabad and Bangalore, has launched its premium luxury residential complex – Richmond Villas – in Hyderabad. The gated-villas project, consisting of 157 (4bedroom) villas, is coming up over 24 acres of blossoming green land near Andhra Pradesh Police Academy circle, close to the new International Airport.

Managing Director, Keerthi Estates, K Anil Kumar Reddy, said, “Each villa, ranging from 3,400 sq ft over 300 square yards to 4,000 sq ft over 466 sq yds, will be built as triplex and will have a huge multipurpose hall, which could be converted into a mini theatre or bar or gym based on the buyer’s choice”. Each villa would cost between Rupees 1.25 crore and Rupees 1.85 crore.

The project is well connected to all the reachable amenities within 10-15 minutes like hospitals, educational institutions and shopping, the IT hub, financial district, Hi-tech city, international schools. The company has to complete the project by the end of 2013, so it has already taken all the approvals for the project and began construction. They have already completed two model villas and work on 15 villas is now at a later stage. There has been good response to the project so far and more than 30 villas are booked.

With around 52 per cent open area in the gated villas project, the company is offering key facilities such as a smartly designed clubhouse along with sports facilities, a swimming pool and an air-conditioned gym among others. The project also offers a waste management system with sewerage treatment plant, supported by water harvesting system and solar fencing all around.

Keerthi Estates has so far built over 3-million sq ft of residential and commercial space and some 1 million sq ft is currently under development in Hyderabad and Bangalore.

11% Hike Observed in Mumbai Rentals

Rising real estate rates may have resulted in a spiky decline in property sales, but it has lead to a good growth in rental value in Mumbai and other metropolitan cities in the country. Mumbai and the outskirts of the city have seen an 11% growth in rental value in the past year. The figure for Bangalore, Pune and Delhi has shot up by 13%, 11% and 9% respectively.

Unexpectedly, rental value in South Mumbai, one of the most preferred locations to stay in the city, has seen a drop. The Worli residential market saw a 21.31% drop last year, while the figure for Prabhadevi, Parel and Bandra (West) fell by 18%, 12% and 11.57%. “The rent in South Mumbai had gone up to the roof. It is still unaffordable. So, people are shifting towards the suburbs and outskirt of the city,” a real estate expert said. However, the rental value in the suburbs too has shot up radically. Borivli (West) witnessed a record of 42.25% growth, while the rates have shot up by 35.04% in Powai, 28.32% in Malad and 20.40% in Kandivli (East). The Mumbai metropolitan region too has seen a rise in rental value. The figure for Mira Road and Seawoods shot up by 39.28% and 36.36% respectively in the past year.

A real estate expert featured the rise in rental value to exorbitant property rates in Mumbai. “People prefer to stay in rented homes instead of buying a house. Also, there is a huge arrival of people in the city. As a result, there is a huge demand for rented homes,” a study says. Government data compiled by the stamp duty department also shows that there is a 35% of rise in the number of lease agreements being signed in the city.

DLF Deals with Mango: Ramps its Presence in Fashion Retail

DLF Brand, a subordinate of DLF Ltd, has come up with its presence in fashion retail trade by collaborating with the Spanish Brand Mango. This happened since the brand announced its two other new retail trends, including a multi-brand showroom chain, of its own. The DLF group company had also launched, for the first time, its own brand, Pure Home and Living, a premier home decor and furnishing brand of retail showrooms. The first of the showroom opened in Delhi  two months back competing with Future Group’s Home Town and Landmark Group’s Home Centre.

Mango, the Spanish Fashion Brand, with over 1,700 showrooms worldwide, decided to sign up DLF as partner to fast track its expansion after nearly a decade of operations in India. The Spanish Brand of clothing has been majorly in partnership with Major Brands through which it released almost 15 stores. DLF will be leading the new showrooms openings. DLF, which has already opened Mango’s travel retail showroom at the new terminal (T3) of New Delhi airport and plans to add another six more stores in the current year, said DLF Brands CFO Dipak Agarwal.

“The major collaborations are now looking to grow assertively here in India having been around for so long. The company wants to concentrate on brand-building and designate the expansion to its franchisee,” Agarwal added. DLF also operates other universal fashion names such as Armani, DKNY, Ferragamo and Mothercare.

DLF is set to launch a multi-brand retail store chain of international fashion brands, the company official said. These showrooms will also store brands that are not part of DLF Brands and will be competing with the high-end retail formats like The Collective, a unit of Aditya Birla Nuvo.

“The multi-brand showrooms will be like a premium discount showrooms keeping high-end fashion labels but at lower price, as there is an opportunity in the market for such showrooms which are highly internationally popular. These stores will be done up gracefully and won’t look like the second stores or factory outlets which are available at present,” Agarwal said. The first of the multi-brand showroom is spread across 10,000 sq. ft which will open in Gurgaon.

DLF group spreads across 16,000 to 18,000 sq. ft is looking to open more 4-5 stores in Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune by end of this year.

TATA Housing Development enters into Redevelopment of Old Buildings, Mumbai

TATA Housing Development, a subsidiary of Tata Group is entering into its home market in Mumbai by taking up project of redeveloping of old building complexes. The developer has started operations pan India which has been restricted to building townships and residential complexes adjoining the Greater Mumbai.

Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director & CEO, TATA Housing Development said, “we expect to start doing the premium housing project of redevelopment of the societies in the western suburbs of Mumbai such as Andheri and Bandra. However, in such redevelopment projects societies normally they call for bids, which make it quite competitive. This was told to Financial Chronicle.

The company hopes that its reputation for ethical behavior would get preference even if its bid is lower than others as these societies have had bad experience when dealt with lesser known realtors.” Unlike certain other developers we cannot cut corners or engage in illegal activities as these would violate the TATA code of conduct”, so it would be safer for the societies to go with developers who don’t bend rules and give a better quality housing product said Banerjee.

“These projects would help us ensure that premium development brings in around 60 per cent of our revenues this year even though they will constitute only around 40 per cent of the number of units being constructed,” said Banerjee. The company currently has 45-50 million square feet of area under development. This is split across value and premium housing respectively and includes around four to five million square feet of commercial and office development.

The company expects the first such development projects to be signed up over the next 6-9 months. “Under the Smart Value Homes and New Haven brands itself we have 15,000 homes under construction,” he added.

By the end of this fiscal year the company hopes to have operations in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Khandala, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh and the National Capital region.

Real Estate Developers Tie-Up With Education Industry

YorkLanes Mall
Po.
Realty sector and Infrastructure firms like GMR and Hindustan Construction Company have announced to set up university campuses and other educational institutes within the country. They mainly aim to ride high on the huge returning education industry.

The education industry in India is worth more than 10 bn US dollars with continuous growth rate. As the Real Estate market is on a low developers are looking at alternate assets such as education.

Partnerships of such kind are increasing day by day in every other township or SEZ as educational institutes bring more revenue.

Chintan Patel, Associate Director, Transaction Advisory Services, E&Y said, “Access to social infrastructure such as schools and colleges serve as attractive features that make it easier for a developer to sell projects.”

Further he had to say that partnerships between a developer and an international institution benefits society and develops retail, office and residential spaces around.

The tie ups usually work on build-and-rent business model. While a developer acquires the land and builds the infrastructure for the educational facility, the institute runs the school or college. It either pays rent or works on a revenue-share model.

The companies which are laying out plans in education are HCC who have bought 500 acres for institutes at Lavasa, its hill city project close to Pune, Maharashtra.It has tied up with Symbiosis, Bangalore-based Christ University, Institute of International Business Relations of Germany, Switzerland-based hospitality Management Institute Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and Educomp, and more.

Global infrastructure player GMR, too, has collaborated with Canada-based Schulich School of Business to build a campus in Shamsabad, Andhra Pradesh, The Company will construct the physical infrastructure for the institute, and in return, earn management fee on the maintenance of residences and hostel facilities. Also, it is planning an aviation academy on 25 acres in the same region, fueled by its international airport project in Hyderabad.

Yatra Capital to Increase Investment In India

Panama Property = Money
Photo by thinkpanama
Euronext-listed company, Yatra Capital managed by Saffron Capital Advisors, an Indian Real Estate Private Equity fund has announced to invest around 20 million Euros in India in FY10. The company plans to invest the Rs 115 cr in two deals in the domestic sector of real estate. The company has as of now invested about Rs 916 cr in 13 projects which include 2 entity-level details.

The weighted average Yatra Equity Fund covers 27 million square feet spread over nine cities. They have sold or pre let over 3 million square feet across various projects.

The chairman and Co-Founder, Yatra Capital, Mr. Christopher Wright said, “In India, one needs to be very careful on Real Estate investments as the market is volatile. After a drop in 2008-09, the realty sector is now moving up. The Indian economy is growing well making people more confident on future investments. We have invested 44% in residential projects, which would be our focus area in future. We always look at investing in affordable residential projects in tier I and II cities.”

Yatra has invested in 90 cr Residential Project and 97 cr Market City Retail Project at Pune, 115 cr in Riverbank Holdings, 91 cr in forum IT parks and 23 cr in Taj gateway at Kolkata, 160 cr in market city at Bangalore and 57 cr at Nashik.

It has entered partnership with Phoenix Mills for 5 various projects across Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai.

A presentation by Yatra to investors in March this year said, “Most markets have seen positive traction due to price cuts. However, developers have now started raising prices especially in Mumbai and the National Capital Region which has led to a slowdown in sales. Projects where pricing is realistic continue to enjoy healthy absorptions. The monetary environment tightening may impact the fund raising environment for many real estate companies still out to raise money. Investor enthusiasm for participation in realty IPOs remains muted.”

India’s Silicon Valley- Bangalore


Photo by dno1967
Bangaluru has over the years gained immense popularity as the hub for IT industries in India. With great opportunities like world class education, working environment, living standards it is not wrong to mention it as the “The Silicon Valley of India”.

Many non-Bangaloreans now call the city their home. It is interesting to note that over 10,000 dollar millionaires and about 60,000 super rich people are currently living in the city with huge investments to make. All these have made Bangalore a hot spot for Real Estate Market, both Residential and Commercial.

Residential market has seen some significant action with many developers like Prestige and Sunil Mantri, Sobha, rolling out new projects in micro market segment. Some of the key areas in Bangalore, where the residential demand has picked up, are Sarjapur Road and Whitefield, Doddakanenahalli and, Jayanagar.

The supply is growing in line with the revived commercial real estate demand. Latest report from Cushman & Wakefield implores that the total projected supply for the current year is 12.42 million square feet of office space, more than twice the supply delivered in the year 2009.

Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) conducted a survey among 5 cities, amongst individuals aged between 25-39 yrs, stated that Mumbai and Bangalore are the most preferred places to live as the cities provide the best quality of life as well as the most courteous people. Bangalore is also identified as a city which is in the process of development on multiple counters – numerous projects have been initiated in areas of Infrastructure, Power, Water, and Sanitation.

All this indicates that this will be a good investment destination, hence attracting FDIs and NRIs fund flows as time goes.